TSR Q&A with Gary Gygax

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This is the multi-year Q&A sessions held by D&D co-creator Gary Gygax here at EN World, beginning in 2002 and running up until his sad pasing in 2008. Gary's username in the thread below is Col_Pladoh, and his first post in this long thread is Post #39.

Gary_Gygax_Gen_Con_2007.jpg
 
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Barak

First Post
Well now all that is left is to find a reason compelling enough for the wife to agree with having our next family vacation in Lake Geneva. And -then- an excuse to disappear from the vacation itself for four hours on a certain night. :)

"Are you having an affair or something?"

"No.. No sweetie, honest."

"Tell the truth now!"

"Well, ok. I'm going to Gary Gygax's house to see how he runs his game."

"Of course. Very believable. Just tell me one thing, is she younger then me?"

At least, despite not being a gamer, she knows who you are, Gary. :) And not from me either.
 
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Col_Pladoh

Gary Gygax
Barak said:
Well now all that is left is to find a reason compelling enough for the wife to agree with having our next family vacation in Lake Geneva. And -then- an excuse to disappear from the vacation itself for four hours on a certain night. :)

"Are you having an affair or something?"

"No.. No sweetie, honest."

"Tell the truth now!"

"Well, ok. I'm going to Gary Gygax's house to see how he runs his game."

"Of course. Very believable. Just tell me one thing, is she younger then me?"

At least, despite not being a gamer, she knows who you are, Gary. :) And not from me either.

Heh, Barak,

Well done!

That calls to mind my early days of wargaming. My ex-wife was convinced that I was carrying on an affair when I would be away all night. After much disputation, I agreed to have the games played at our place despite the childrens' presence (noisy) and her wanting to talk.

So about eight o'clock my opponent showed up and we begin playing. At around 11 PM my ex-wife said loudly, "Do you know that neither one of you has said a word in over an hour?!" Grunted responses were all that was forthcoming, so she went off to bed, and we finished the game around 7 AM that morning. We all had breakfast together, then my opponent went home to get some sleep. The ex- never did like games, gamers...or me in actuality.

The positive side is that RPGs are quite different from wargames. Lots of conversation going on, so non-gamer onlookers are not quite so bored.

In short, she can come along to see the game if that's desired :D

Cheers,
Gary
 

PatEllis15

First Post
The Past... and the future?!

As always, thanks for you time Gary...

First:

I recently read an interview you did with CIRO ALESSANDRO SACCO, a multi parter that covered your history in gaming from the birth of RPG's to your current work with LA.

I'd like to say that it reads like an America tragedy... I can't believe all of the pitfalls they lay before you. Your a strong man to have not let them stop you from continuing your work!

SO, in response to this question:
"In your FAQ you write “1973: Gary and Don Kaye form Tactical Studies Rules, an equal partnership” and then “1974: Brian Blume is admitted as an equal (1/3) partner”. Did both of you admit a new partner to help financing the publication of D&D? "

You responded thusly:
"Don and I wanted to get the D&D game out as soon as possible. If we had waited until sales of our one set of military miniatures rules, “Cavaliers & Roundheads”, generated sufficient funds, it would have been 1975 before we could publish."

Can you talk a bit about how things would have been different if not for the untimely death of your friend Don Kaye? Why did you not purchase Don's shares? Why did you pick Brian (whom per the interview you never seemed to be on the same page with) as your third partner?


That's the past... now the future...

Hasbro has been busy selling off pieces of the old TSR (Dragon/Dungeon magazine, Gen Con, etc.). I don't see it happening for a few years, as Hasbro will surely beat Revised Edition to death first, but if Hasbro were to put D&D up for sale, would you be interested, and motivated to buy back your brand name?

Thanks for your time!

Pat Ellis
Taro Sarask
 

Col_Pladoh said:


The positive side is that RPGs are quite different from wargames. Lots of conversation going on, so non-gamer onlookers are not quite so bored.

In short, she can come along to see the game if that's desired :D

Cheers,
Gary
Absolutely, that is how I got my wife to play, she would wake up to the table and listen to us, and when she would start to chime in, we would tell her she had to have a character to comment, next thing you know she was gaming, and that was over 3 years ago :)
ken
 

Col_Pladoh

Gary Gygax
Re: The Past... and the future?!

PatEllis15 said:
As always, thanks for you time Gary...

First:

I recently read an interview you did with CIRO ALESSANDRO SACCO, a multi parter that covered your history in gaming from the birth of RPG's to your current work with LA.

I'd like to say that it reads like an America tragedy... I can't believe all of the pitfalls they lay before you. Your a strong man to have not let them stop you from continuing your work!

Welcome, certainly. I answer such questions for the benefit of those interested, and hopefully to assist others in error avoidance :rolleyes:

Fortunately for me I got into this field for love of gaming, not for money and power. What happened was very much a disappointemnt, but it didn't dampen my love for games--creation and playing of them.


SO, in response to this question:
"In your FAQ you write “1973: Gary and Don Kaye form Tactical Studies Rules, an equal partnership” and then “1974: Brian Blume is admitted as an equal (1/3) partner”. Did both of you admit a new partner to help financing the publication of D&D? "

You responded thusly:
"Don and I wanted to get the D&D game out as soon as possible. If we had waited until sales of our one set of military miniatures rules, “Cavaliers & Roundheads”, generated sufficient funds, it would have been 1975 before we could publish."

Can you talk a bit about how things would have been different if not for the untimely death of your friend Don Kaye? Why did you not purchase Don's shares? Why did you pick Brian (whom per the interview you never seemed to be on the same page with) as your third partner?

Anything I have to add must be pure speculation, but...

Had Don not died, he and I would have been the dorecting force behind TSR, not Brian. Don and I had been pals since around age 7, and we shared the same general vision.

I didn't purchase Don's interest in Tactical Studies Rules because I lacked the financial wherewithal at that time.

As for Brain Blume, when he first came into our player group he was seemingly a much different person than the one who emerged later. Don and I made the decision to admit him as an equal partner, as both of us wanted to get the D&D game into print, and we knew that between us we controlled the company. Let this be an object lesson to the young that they are indeed mortal, that life might end at any moment, and therefore to proceed with prudent steps to protect themselves and their heirs.

I must mention that absolutely no one seemed interested in investing in the company, and all that saw the D&D game thought we were quite balmy in thinking it would be popular. It is well enough known that I tried to license the game, as well as DUNGEON!, to The Avalon hill Company in the summer of 1973 before Tactical Studies Rules was formed, and that they turned it down with derisive laughter. Tom Shaw and I shared many a jest about that in years to come;) Don Kaye was the only one with vision, so when Brian Blume came along, we assumed that his perspective was similar to that Don and I had. In hindsight a big mistake...


That's the past... now the future...

Hasbro has been busy selling off pieces of the old TSR (Dragon/Dungeon magazine, Gen Con, etc.). I don't see it happening for a few years, as Hasbro will surely beat Revised Edition to death first, but if Hasbro were to put D&D up for sale, would you be interested, and motivated to buy back your brand name?

Thanks for your time!

Pat Ellis
Taro Sarask

There are two reasons I would not be likely to re-acquire the mark and game. First, I do not have the money to do so. Second, I am not attuned to the current form of the game. To cut to the chase, if I had the financial capacity to purchese the rights from Hasbro, I'd use the money to promote and advertise the Lejendary Adventure RPG system instead. there is no baggage of any sort with that game.

Cheers,
Gary
 

Col_Pladoh

Gary Gygax
Joseph Elric Smith said:

Absolutely, that is how I got my wife to play, she would wake up to the table and listen to us, and when she would start to chime in, we would tell her she had to have a character to comment, next thing you know she was gaming, and that was over 3 years ago :)
ken

Another success story!

Good work, amigo:D

Ciao,
Gary
 


Col_Pladoh

Gary Gygax
Alaska Roberts said:
Hi Gary, are you gonna be at GenCon? And if you are, where can I meet you to buy you a drink?

Thanks

Alaska

Hi Alaska!

Thanks, and the thought is much appreciated:)

Fact is that I am not making GenCon this year for the first time ever. It is not in Wisconsin, I don't want to take the trip to Indy, and the con falls on my birthday anniversary--which I surely don't wish to spend thus!

Now if you happen to be in Milwaukee the following weekend, drop by the Gamefest there, and look me up. We are having an informal room party one night, likely Saturday, to say thanks to all my fellow gamers. (Night of the gathering is yet to be determined, as on either Friday or Saturday the Trolls are taking us out to dinner at the Old Town Serbian Gourmet restaurant there, and that's not to be missed, Excellent food, Serbian music, and great slivovitz.)

Cheers,
Gary
 

Beckett

Explorer
Col_Pladoh said:


Fact is that I am not making GenCon this year for the first time ever. It is not in Wisconsin, I don't want to take the trip to Indy, and the con falls on my birthday anniversary--which I surely don't wish to spend thus!


I can see this quote getting a lot of mileage.
"Gary Gygax misses first GenCon ever!"
"EGG boycotts GCI!"
"Lejendary Gamer Unhappy with New Location and New System!"
"WOTC stock plummets!"
;)

Best birthday wishes to you, and many more!
 


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